Ian Johnston, Chief Executive, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), expects further growth and activity this year, following the strong performance achieved in 2023, a report said.
"2023 was the DFSA's busiest year in terms of the number of new licences issued, with more than 100 new financial services firms, surpassing 2022," Johnston told Emirates News Agency (WAM).
The DFSA achieved exceptional growth last year, licencing and registering a record number of companies during 2023, a 25 percent increase from 2022, bringing the total number of licenced companies to 791.
"As the regulator of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), it is most important for us that the centre continues to grow and expand, especially as its work does not stop at attracting more companies, but there is more work being done by the financial institutions registered there," Johnston added.
"We have 27 out of 29 systemically important global banks headquartered in the DIFC, as well as most of the major fund managers and the majority of insurance and reinsurance companies," he said.
The DFSA CEO pointed to a significant increase in the interest of hedge funds to be present in Dubai amid rapid growth in the sector, noting that many hedge funds and other funds around the world are moving to the DIFC.
During the past year, the DFSA recorded a 125% year-on-year increase in the number of asset managers and hedge funds established in the DIFC.
Ian Johnston highlighted the DIFC's impressive growth as a leading financial hub. He stated that the DIFC has surpassed its regional competitors to become the largest financial centre in the Middle East and a prominent global player.
Currently, over 600 financial services firms operate within the DIFC, employing more than 40,000 people and significantly contributing to the UAE's economy, he added.